Sheriff Porter 59
After that one day trip and all the damn money I made, I began to wonder why I had wasted all those years in law enforcement. Even Swamp dog had never paid that well. Okay, I kind of stole the money, but no one was going to complain.
While I was waiting for something new to come along, I hung around the plant making the wooden tool box kits. The guys had it going really well. The Internet was even beginning to show some interest from retailers.
Sure we still offered to assemble it for $25, but we advertised the kit hard as a way to be involved in your project. The single mom market was big for use as a toy chest. It was great for storage in a room with bunk beds. That’s what the people at AMR told us from their interactive site. So the two men were planning an expansion.
“Sure guys, I can see it if your business plan is thought out well enough. I would like to have one of the men who works for me check your figures, before I write the check,” I said.
“I knew you would say that and I’m all for you checking. You have never given us bad advice yet,” the oldest one said. “I’m about of the age where checking into how things run is more fun than actually running saws.”
“Might be a good idea. You don’t want to fall into on of those thing and get an accidental Vasectomy,” I said.
“I doubt an old man has to worry about that. I am responsible for the plant management, so I’m interested in getting the most productive methods and tools. We are having to run an assembly line now. What we do is to take every tenth kit and assemble it and sell it that way. It’s how we make sure all the kits are the way we designed them to be,” my second partner said.
I didn’t bother to correct him as to who designed the first tool box. It was based on a wooden box I bought in a sale of equipment, at one the closed mills in County Seat. I was just glad it made money for the guys and gave them something to do.
Three days after I submitted the plan my Trust Manager called. “Well Sylvia I am not the man to evaluate your plan, so I had a Production Engineer look it over. Then I evaluated the business growth and it’s potential for more. I believe the market will become saturated. The buying public will find a new fad, so I recommend your production capacity rise by only half. Just enough to fill present orders and not count on future growth. In other words don’t bet on the draw.”
“I thought of Kodak when you said that. They had far to much production capability because the demand dried up so fast,” I said.
“I suggest you rent a space, and buy the machines you need to meet demand now. If demand increases add a second shift. That would be my suggestion but what ever you do don’t change your advertising. The three of you are ideal to speak for the company. Those guys are every family’s grandfather making something for the kids,” he suggested. “And your back story is great. You winning the lottery and helping folks out with the money is beautiful.”
“Well don’t get all teary eyed, I’m not giving shit away,” I said. I hung up and went to deliver the news to my partners who were actually happy for the advice.
“We got this friend Roy who we can bring on to help with the tools. He is just a young whipper snapper of sixty five, but he’s pretty dependable.”
When I got back it was noon and Willie was up and moving about the barge house. “Were you out playing Elvis again?” I asked.
“No last night I was fishing off the pier down there till 2 AM. Well the last two hours I was in the office with Margo looking at porn drinking wine and laughing. It’s neat how porn gets to be hilarious at our age,” he said.
“Well get dressed quick, I have decided that you need a company car,” I said. It was just another way of killing time while I waited for something to happen. Even with the prospect of getting a free car it took him thirty minutes to get dress. Wilson was worse than most women. A woman held the record for time spent changing, but Wilson was a close second. Okay third, Jeremy came in there somewhere.
We had to drive all the way to Ellisboro to get a selection. I wanted to get an American car. Wilson had other ideas, most of which cost me serious money.
“Wilson I drive a ten year old pickup truck, what makes you think I am going to buy a Mercedes company car. Plus if I need you to watch a house, you will stand out like a butler at a clown convention.”
“So how about a Volvo,” he suggested.
“Wilson, I drive a ten year old ford pickup truck. I am not buying you a car that cost as much as my house in County Seat,” I said.
“Alright what can I have? How about an Escalade?” Wilson asked.
“Trust me, you don’t want and Escalade. They are way too dangerous,” I said.
“Your friend The Brit drives one,” he said.
“Wilson think about it,” I said.
“Alright how about a Honda,” he asked.
“You know that’s the most over priced car for what you get,” I said.
“It’s your money not mine,” he said.
“Get an SRV if you have to have a Honda,” I said. “You are going to have to do things you probably can’t anticipate now.” We left the dealership in Ellisboro with a brand new SRV. Wilson was happy, so I was happy as well. Of the three colors they had he chose black. I thought it looked very nice, a little too large for my taste, but that was okay too.
The weather finally got warm enough for me to sit on the deck outside the 20×8 kitchen living room space. There was a ten foot deck on each end of the small kitchen living room area which Wilson and I shared.
The first of the Bikini’s that I wore was black. The top had nothing in it and the bottom was on only slightly better. “My god Porter, If I had your kind of money I would have the worlds best body. Boob and butt job without a doubt,” was Wilson’s only comment.
“You might not want to insult the woman who writes your check, and in whose bed you are sleeping,” I said with a smile.
“It wasn’t meant as an insult, just a passing comment. Really more about how much more vain I am than you,” he said trying to salvage it.
“Stop while you are only a little behind,” I said but I was smiling.
“You know you could go topless everybody thinks you are guy when they first meet you. The mother and daughter combo at the B&B thought I was gay, at first, because I know all the show tunes and run with you,” he said.
“You mean you aren’t gay and I live with you? Damn people are going to talk,” I said.
I spent two weeks working on my tan and riding the trike all over the Town of New Wales. I got real familiar with all the people who ran the shops in the quaint downtown. I didn’t remember any of their names, but I remembered most of the shops. There was the blonde and gray middle aged hippie. She had a shop in front and a production facility in the back. She made soaps and scented candles. I bought a candle to hide the smell of the river. Sometimes it got pretty rank around the marina, especially if someone cooked outside. The smell wasn’t so bad the first day, but the leftovers and parts that didn’t get cooked could get pretty smelly before some of them emptied their cans.
Then there was the toy maker. He dressed like an 1800 type toy maker and he made toys out of wood. He made very simple trains and cars. The genius was in watching small kids play with them and try to figure out what they were imagining. There were also boating supply stores, kind of a specialty hardware thing. I mean where else could I buy an anchor. I was tied down in place. It was still nice to know that if I needed to weight a body down, I could pick up an anchor in a hurry.
Even though Wilson was gone about every night with one of his lady friends, I was enjoying having him around. He knew to be available during the day and I appreciated that after that crap with Osborn.
After two weeks, I was getting bored. I really needed something interesting to happen. I could never in a million years have expected the call I got.
“Sylvia Porter, I have read all about you. So how is the houseboat life?” the man with the heavy accent asked.
“It’s real good, no pressure these days. How’s the weather were you are?” I asked.
“You know you could come here yourself and find out,” he said. I sensed something was on his mind besides fucking a small time Sheriff.
“I could or you could just tell me why you called,” I said cheerfully.
“You cut right to it don’t you?” he asked.
“Usually I do yes. So why the call?” I repeated.
“I have a son Antonio. He is a student in one of your universities. He seems to be missing. It may be nothing, he could be mountain climbing or something,” he said trying to minimize his concern.
“So which one of our esteemed universities?” I asked.
“South Brunswick in Capitol City,” he said.
“I see and what would you like for me to do?” I asked.
“Take a look there and see what if anything has happened to him. Better still find him for his mother and tell him to call her,” he said.
“If I do this I am going to be asking some really hard questions, but I’m not a cop so you can tell me things,” I said.
“Sylvia, I could tell you things when you were a cop. Do not worry, if you think it will find Antonio, me and everyone who works for me will cooperate.”
“That’s fair when did you hear from him last?” I asked.
“A week ago Sunday, he calls his mother once a week at least,” he said.
“I have to ask you this, do you and your son stay in touch? I noticed you said his mother, as if she had custody and you were the non custodial parent,” I suggested.
“Yes that is right. You are very intuitive,” he said.
“So what name does he use?” I asked.
“Antonio Garcia, his mother began using her maiden name, and he took it as well,” he said.
“Is there any reason Antonio would want to go missing?” I asked.
“Like what?” he said.
“Girl friends, something like that,” I asked. “Drugs,” I added and waited for the storm.
“You do ask hard questions. I do not know if he was a user or not. I would be very disappointed, if he were,” the man in Miami said.
“Does he know who you are,” I asked.
“Yes he knows and he hates me for it,” the voice said. “So will you go check it out?”
“Email me a current picture even if you have to have his mom do it,” I said.
“You think I don’t have a picture,” he asked tension showing in his voice.
“I bet mom has more, and more current ones as well,” I said expecting to get an ear full.
Instead he simply said, “Yeah, I’ll have her email them to you. Sylvia find him for me no matter what or where he is.”
“I’ll do my best,” I said. “Have her send his credit card and social security number. If she has his driver’s license and car information it would help.”
”I will have her send every scrap of current information,” he said. “Sylvia don’t worry about your fee.”
“Wait till it’s done, then pay me what you think it was worth,” I said.
Edited by Walt